People of Braj loved Krishna. Gopiyan, girls of gopa (herdsmen), were impressed with his charm and brave deeds. According to ancient scripts, Krishna and many girls, gopiyan, once danced and merried under the night sky of Sharad Purnima. This is famous as Raas. Slowly this became a tradition in which herdsmen and others also joined. Possibly these get-togethers also added to the night security from the dangers that Kansa posed.
Like this, Braj and its people faced dangers and came out of it. Forbidden forests and water resources were made accessible and safe by Krishna. Out of all the incidents so far, only the one with Putna is confirmed in scripts that she was sent by Kansa. Other appears to be sudden or godly but didn’t involve Kansa. An important point to see is that in early scripts like – Harivansha, Vaayu and Brahma, Krishna is associated with less godly incidents but the later ones like Bhagwat, Padma, Brahmavaivarta have increased number of such godly incidents. Not only the number of such incidents are higher but also the tales from ancient scripts have been highly exaggerated and modified. Literature after 12th century has even higher occurrences of such happenings.
Braj’s Visit of Dhanuryaad and Akroor
Krishna’s handling of dangerous situations and spoiling Kansa’s conspiracies made him very popular in his childhood itself. All of it made this little brave boy very impotant to the people of Braj. On the other hand Kansa, king of Mathura, was terrified of Krishna’s popularity and understood very well that one day he could be in trouble because of him. Finally Kansa asked Akroor to call Balram and Krishna for a challenge of bow and arrows. Akroor was a famous leader of a group of Andhak-Vrashni Sangh in his time. As such he was a refined learned man. Kansa required such a talented, clever and trustworthy man for his plans.
Kansa first prepared for Dhanuryaag and then sent Akroor to Gokul. A little before Akroor, Keshi has approached Krishna but he killed him too.
Krishna’s Mathura Visit
One day Krishna heard the news that Akroor has come to Vrindavana to take him to Mathura. Krishna met him bravely and took him to meet Nand. Here Akroor read the message from Kansa for the competition and said “King has invited you with your herdsmen and kids to see the festival.” Next day Akroor left for Mathura with Balram and Krishna. Nand might not have sent the boys, Krishna and Balram, but Akroor insisted that they must go and meet their parents – Devaki and Vasudev, to help them from their misery. How could Nand have stopped them now? When Akroor reached Mathura, he didn’t let the boys meet their parents. His reason was that this might make Kansa very angry and will spoil the plan. They reached Mathura in the evening and Akroor took them to his home first. These brave boys couldn’t resist the charm as they never visited such a big city before and went out on the streets to have a look around.
Krishna Balram were already famous in Mathura. Chaos created when they entered the city. Krishna and Balram punished who opposed them. A large part of the crowd had either open or hidden sympathy with Krishna. In them were Kansa’s brother like Sudaabh, his gardener Gunak and Kubja her maid etc.
Krishna even reached Kansa’s weapon store and killed the guard. After all this they probably took rest in Akroor’s house. Other scripts are unable to confirm where the boys spent the night.
Kansa heard news of these happenings. He instructed his strong wrestlers, Charnoor and Mushtik, for Krishna-Balram’s death. Kansa even thought of killing them by an elephant before they enter the arena as who knew what scene they might create. Next morning Krishna and Balram entered the Palace to see the Dhanuryaag. At that time, according to the plan, a ferocious elephant, Kuvalaya, attacked them. The brothers took care of it. After getting in, Balram fought with Mushtik and Krishna with Charnoor. After killing them Krishna killed another warrior, Toslak. This was enough to create chaos and fear in Kansa’s rest of the warriors. During this confusion, Krishna jumped up on Kansa and killed him. In between Sunaam, Kansa’s brother, tried to save him but Balram came in between and killed Sunaam.
After completing their task, boys met their parents. Devaki and Vasudev were delighted to meet their kids after such a long time. Like this, after saving his parents from misery, Krishna gave Ugrasen, father of Kansa and leader of Andhaks, the throne. Everybody wanted Krishna to be the king but he said to Ugrasen “I’ve not killed Kansa for his throne. You are the leader of Yadavas. So you should sit on the throne.” Still he was requested to be the king and then Krishna reminded them of Yayati’s curse and sacrificed the throne. So, like this, Krishna set an example of sacrifice.